Archey's frog (Leiopelma archeyi)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 11053060
Title: The Effects of Predation on Leiopelma archeyi
Abstract: New Zealand’s native frogs consist of four species, all belonging to the genus Leiopelma (Newman, 1996). The most endangered of these is Leiopelma archeyi (Archey's frog). Archey's frog populations have suffered a drastic decline of over 80% in the past 10 years (Bell et al., 2004). Although introduced fauna have been indicated as a factor in this decline (Bell, 1994), there has been no study investigating predator diets in order to estimate the impact on Leiopelma. Our research indicates that small mammals avoid skeletal components when predating frogs, ingesting only soft tissue. This makes identification of frog prey remains in predator stomach contents or faecal samples impossible. The aims of this project are: 1) to develop a technique that will enable conservation managers to reliably detect Archey's frog prey remains in predator diet samples and; 2) to assess the impact of mammalian predators on the Archey's frog stronghold population. We have successfully developed molecular methods to detect Archey's frog in predator diet samples. We now need to apply these techniques in the field to determine the predation impact of introduced mammals.
Project 11053060 location - New Zealand, Oceania